Tag Archives: Windows 7

Tip: Hibernate – Sleep – Shutdown

Just to clear things up, I though I would quickly go through the differences of Hibernate, Sleep, and a full shutdown of any computer.

RAM makes the all difference!

The main difference has to do with how RAM is being used. So let me give a quick understanding of what RAM is and how it is used.

RAM is temporary ‘running’ memory. When a computer is booting up, it really is loading all the necessary files to work over into RAM. Now RAM also used to remember what programs you have open, what web page you are one, what you have typed but haven’t saved yet, and so on. Simply put, it tires the state of thing.

Now we can dive into the differences.

Shutdown

Scraps all data in RAM, forgetting the state of things on screen, then powers off all components (RAM chip, CPU, keyboard, screen, wifi card, etc).

Sleep

Continues to supply a little power to RAM chip keeping the state of thing. But powers off all other components (CPU, keyboard, screen, wifi card, etc). This means it can pick up where it left off very quickly, just need to power on all other components. Mac Laptops are well known for this, windows can do it as well.

Hibernate

Saves a copy of everything in RAM to the hard drive. This allows it to scrap everything in RAM and powers off all components (RAM chip, CPU, keyboard, screen, wifi card, etc) this consuming no power. When powered back on, it can restore the state to RAM as it was from the Hard drive, picking up where it left off. It can take a bit longer to save and restore the RAM, the benefit is mainly no battery drain.

What is best?

Which is best to use? Well that’s up to you. For me it largely depends on how long I will be away. Sleep short, hibernate long, shutdown long or weekly.

A rhyming rule of thumb:
Out for a treat – then sleep
Out for a date – then hibernate
Out for weekend cool down – then shutdown

Nevertheless, now you know!

Tip: Windows Alt+Tab Order

The revised Windows 7 and Windows 8 Alt+Tab has been bugging me for a couple years now. The Alt+Tab order is (or seems to be) ordered completely randomly. This prevents quickly ALt+Tab switching between two programs.

I finally took the time to find the the fix, Add the following DWORD key to the registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AltTabSettings = 1

This enables the old Alt+Tab behavior. It does remove Aero Peak and thumbnails of each app unfortunately. It’s better to have something functional than shiny.

Note: I noticed a pattern, when you minimize a window, that window goes to the last in the order. I suppose the logic presumed is that you are wanting that application out of the way if you are minimizing it.

Source: SuperUser.com – Getting back the old alt-tab windows switching behavior in Windows 7?